Archive for August 6th, 2011

Exodus 9

Exodus 9 gives us a perfect picture of what it means to be truly stubborn towards God.  Pharaoh has already seen four plagues, and here come three more in this chapter.  His heart is hard and he has no intention to let the Israelites go.  Moses comes with an all too familiar demand: “Let my people go, that they may serve me”.  This is starting to sound like a broken record.  God wants the people set free so they can go and worship him.  But Pharaoh will not have any of that.  So the fifth plague is that all the livestock in Egypt will die.  The flip side was that “nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die”.  Seems pretty black and white – like it would be obvious that God is in control doesn’t it?  Pharaoh’s stuff all dies, Moses doesn’t lose a thing.  But he still refuses.

So God gets a bit more personal with plague number six.  He has Moses throw “handfuls of soot from the kiln…which become boils breaking out in sores on man and beast”.  This is getting closer to home.  Pharaoh’s mighty magicians aren’t even able to come to help him with this one because they are hurting so much.  Moses comes with the familiar request to let the people go – but Pharaoh is still saying no.  In spite of the very personal pain this plague is causing, his pride won’t let him release the people of Israel.

Then we get a glimpse into this tug of war between Pharaoh and God.  Check out what God says: “For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth”.  We all know that God is going to win.  It is obvious, and God tells us, that He could just wipe out Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  This really is not about God’s power, but man’s response.  God wants all to come to know Him and to realize that He alone is King.  God will have His name proclaimed throughout all the earth.  As scripture says ‘every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord’.  It is really that simple.  But Pharaoh isn’t ready to proclaim the One True God yet.

So along comes plague number seven – the worst hail the land had ever seen.  God continues to differentiate even further between the Egyptians and Israelites to make His power obvious.  “Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, was there no hail”.  So the worst hail ever where the Egyptians lived and not one stone where the Israelites were.  Does that seem obvious to you – that God really is who He says He is?  I don’t quite understand how Pharaoh misses this point.  He begins to waver “but when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants”.  Is your heart hardened toward God?  Are you missing the very clear signs that He is indeed King?  He won’t give up on you.  He won’t stop the pressure.  He will continue until His name is proclaimed.  Join in the proclamation – He is the Great I Am!

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